By Saskia Whelan
Online coverage leaves an SEO-rich footprint that lasts a long time, helping brands to build a lingering digital presence. News websites boast incredible viewing figures – the MailOnline, for example, racked up 4.1 billion page views last year, so tackling online portals is a worthwhile PR mission. Here are our tips and tricks to get video and stories published online:
- Offer up a complete package
As with TV and radio broadcasters, make things as easy as possible for online journalists by offering them up a full online package, with a slick edited video and high resolution stills. Short and sweet is key here; aim for the video to be about 1.30 minutes long, with the lead of the story in the first 30 seconds to grab attention.
- Go easy on the branding
With a PR story and video, you will of course want a brand mention – but be careful not to turn your story into an advert. Gone are the days when online sites were more lax than radio or TV. If the video content is strong, you can get away with slightly more branding, but try to avoid having any in the stills. The latter will be used to entice people to click through to the story on a busy homepage, so excess branding will put people off and won’t make it past the editorial team.
- Online portals =/= print
The online newsdesk will be separate from print, and have different expectations. Online titles will often go for more light-hearted stories as the demand for content is much higher. Attention-grabbing titles and videos that are both funny and informative are your best bet, as the entertainment factor will win over site visitors, and therefore online editors.
- Trending topics
So what subjects are going to be hits online? Celebrity spokespeople will generate clicks, just as they tend to guarantee listeners or viewers on other broadcast mediums. The golden rule here is always to have an obvious tie-in; for example, a celebrity chef for a recipe video. Speaking of food, recipe videos work very well online, as do stories about kids, animals and education. Have a look at this video recipe we did for Nestle’s gluten free cereal range.
- Consider the audience
With an oversaturated market online, websites target very specific audiences. Work out which portals will most suit your video, and be realistic. OK!, Hello! and Closer, for example, mix celebrity news with lifestyle articles for women who are juggling work, play and family. The Guardian and Telegraph cover bigger news stories, with the former preferring social issues, and the latter business stories. The MailOnline is often the goal for coverage, but that means the online editorial team are inundated with stories, so not all will make the cut. A great story, and an even better video package, might just seal the deal.
- Calculate the lifetime of the story
News is only news when it’s new. Give the online news teams a heads up the day before that you’ll have something for them to use, and act fast to get an online package together. Shoot a B-roll, which can be edited by any sites who’d like to use it, for speed. However, lighter stories have a longer lifetime, which means more coverage opportunities, but a slower uptake. Be ready to play the long game, and it could yield great results!
See this story we did for MSD Animal Health – parts of the video package were already edited before the embargoed date, meaning only footage shot in the day had to be dropped in: